Fort Amity

They were threading their way now among the Thousand Isles, and soon Lake Ontario opened before them, spreading its blue waters to the horizon. But John heeded neither green islands nor blue lake, nor their beauty, nor their peace, but only the shame in his heart.
From Fort Amity, Chapter XVII
Cover of Fort Amity

Fort Amity is a historical novel based mainly around the St Lawrence River in the two years leading up to the fall of Montreal to the British in 1760. On one level, it is adventure story, recounting the exploits of its hero John à Cleeve in a time of political and military turmoil. On another level, it reflects Q’s own attitudes to politics and social change at the time at which he was writing. 

In this section of the site you will find a collection of separate resources relating to Fort Amity.

Elsewhere, in the Studies area, you can read an in-depth study of the novel. This describes how Q used historical sources to write a novel that reveals much about his own views on war and corruption in the contemporary world.

In the section where you are now, you will find shorter articles and other resources. The plot of the whole novel is summarised here and the structure of the story is described here. For a more detailed account of what happens in each chapter, you can refer to the chapter summaries. For a quick overview of the action, look at the walk-through, where all the major events are presented in chronological order.

The background to the novel is the British military campaign against the French colonists along the St Lawrence River. Key locations and figures on the French side are described here. This map shows the position of some of the most important places along the St Lawrence River.

Native Americans also have a significant role in the novel. Details of the various tribes and the part they played are given here.

The novel describes the battle of Fort Carillon, and the campaign that led up to it. Details are given here, along with a description of the hero’s voyage from the fort.

The novel is a work of fiction based on historical fact and real locations. Some of the characters are purely fictional while others are based on real individuals. The most important characters are described here.

Although Q made use of historical sources, his spelling of place names sometimes differed from that in non-fiction documents. For more details, see these notes.

If you would like to read Fort Amity for yourself, it is available to read online on the Internet Archive site. Alternatively, the text of the novel is available to download on the Project Gutenberg site.